Dear Alley is our weekly advice column for pierced, inked, and amazing individuals (and everyone else too!) who might need a nudge in the right direction. Relationships, mods, or whatever, Alley's got you covered :).
Do you have a question for Alley, submit it to DearAlley@bodycandy.com for your chance to get featured!
Disclaimer: Body Candy is only here to give you fun and helpful advice and information when it comes to getting pierced. Always consult a professional piercer to make sure a new piercing is right for you!
You are awesome for answering everyone's questions and helping out the community!
So, my question is regarding my old belly button piercing... Which I got about three years ago and was pressured from a friend. I was really excited getting it anyway and wanted to surprise my boyfriend with it. I know I have sensitive skin but I went with it anyway, thinking "I'm a grown woman and I can probably take care of it!" (I have a lot of tattoos and my skin isn't sensitive to them for some reason.)
But once I got my piercing and the process was done, my boyfriend was not a fan, but it made me feel confident and sexy despite my big belly. But... I later had an infection and it soon rejected my piercing...and now I have this huge keloid scar... I tried my best to take care of it and went back to the piercer to see if it able to be re-pierced and when another artist saw it, he said it was pierced too deep... So that made me really upset for a long time and in still not over it.
I'm scared to get another one after my ears got pierced and got infected a couple of times but finally healed about 5 months in... I also feel like my boyfriend was rough with me and purposely didn't like the belly piercing so he didn't care... I've attached a photo of my belly button scar that I've had for a couple of years. I would love to hear your advice and recommendations, sorry this is so long! Thank you so much!
Alley: Hi Izzy!
I'm glad you like my Dear Alley segment! Helping out Body Candy babes is one of the best parts of my job :).
There's a lot to unpack here, so let me start with this: I noticed you let a lot of people influence the way you feel about your body and your piercings. Whether it's being pressured by a friend into your piercing or being purposely roughhoused by your boyfriend because he didn't like it, this type of behavior is toxic and unacceptable. Remember that piercings are for YOU and celebrating YOUR body. I also read in your message that your belly ring "made me feel confident and sexy." THAT'S what matters.
Onto your scar question - I am not a professional piercer, and especially with just a picture, I'm not qualified to be able to determine whether or not your scar is too big or too deep to work with. That being said, I don't think all hope is lost. I would try another in-person consult with a different professional piercer - perhaps an APP certified piercer who specializes in navel rings. You could try a different navel piercing, like an inverse navel piercing (located below your navel rather than above). Body Candy also sells pregnancy belly rings (don't let the word "pregnancy" scare you off) - they're really long retainers that can be trimmed down to fit any sized piercing. At the end of the day, see what the pros have to say about it... They are licensed, qualified, and experienced enough to tell you what will and won't work with your body.
Last but not least, you mentioned your ears healed up within five months. I don't think that's an excessive amount of time! Remember that piercings are open wounds, and they need to be treated as such. Make sure you're practicing good general hygiene, practicing diligent piercing aftercare (a gentle salt soak, once per day will do), and be sure not to bump, snag, sleep on, or put any unnecessary pressure or stress on your navel ring... This includes anyone being purposely rough on your piercing.
I’ve always wanted to get my ears styled by a piercer. Been think about curated piercings but I can’t seem to find any in my area - Houston, TX. Any recommendations?
Alley: Hey Daysi!
A quick Google search shows a ton of piercing studios in your area! Most of which have generally good reviews. Try searching "Houston TX piercing" - a lot of options came up for me right away.
If location isn't an issue (i.e. you can get a ride somewhere), it's never a bad idea to check out the APP website for APP-certified piercers in your area. I'm not familiar with the Houston, TX area myself, but a quick search of the APP (Association of Professional Piercers) website shows two piercers in your area that are APP-certified at a shop called 713 Tattoo & Piercing. That might be a good place to start! Give them a call and ask them if they're available for an in-person consult regarding your ear piercing ideas, I'm sure they'll be happy to direct you from there.
Although APP-certification isn't the end-all-be-all for quality piercers, it is a good place to start if you aren't sure where to look. If you don't think the aforementioned shop is the right fit for you, try calling another shop in your area and see what they have to say.
If you have more questions about how to find the right piercing studio for you - here's another blog about choosing the right piercing parlor for you!
I pierced my nose a year ago and it got infected so I had to take it out. I was wondering if I can or should pierce the same spot again?
Alley: Hey Jocey!
First and foremost, I do not recommend piercing yourself for any reason! I am not a professional piercer myself, but I highly recommend that you leave the piercing to the professionals this time around. They'll make sure your piercing is placed correctly, that it isn't crooked, and they will do it all while using completely sterile tools to ensure you have the least chance of getting an infection.
With that being said, there are many factors as to why you may have gotten an infection... Were you practicing good aftercare (one gentle salt soak once per day)? Do you practice good general hygiene (showers, avoiding makeup & lotion in the piercing location)? Did you touch, bump, or snag your nose piercing while changing or sleeping? All of these incidents can lead to an irritated or infected nose piercing.
Any of the factors above could have contributed to your infection, but I don't think location was one of them. Barring any extreme scarring, there shouldn't be any reason why you couldn't get another nose piercing in the same location.
Let me say it once more for the people in the back... GO TO A PRO THIS TIME! Especially because you had an infection last time, give yourself the best possible chance to heal up this time around so you can enjoy your nose ring forever!